Manila: Typhoon Sarika made landfall on Sunday after leaving at least two dead a day earlier as fierce wind and rain battered the eastern Philippines and displaced hundreds of villagers.

The typhoon packed winds as fast as 115 knots (132 miles per hour) and gusts of 140 knots, according to the US military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It made landfall on Sunday morning over Baler in Aurora province, about 140 miles northeast of Manila, said the local weather bureau PAGASA.

A 79-year-old farmer suffered a heart attack while another was found along the shores in Catanduanes province on Saturday as the storm, locally named Karen, hammered the Bicol region, Rappler reported on its website, citing police and regional disaster officials.

Eight mountaineers and four residents went missing in Aurora province while 1,940 families were evacuated in seven towns, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in an e-mailed report. Coconut trees and electricity poles were knocked down, leaving several towns without power, the report said as the country prepared for a typhoon touted as the most disastrous this year.

Cebu Air Inc. cancelled 144 domestic and international flights scheduled for Sunday while Philippine Airlines Inc. suspended 95 flights, according to their websites. Philippine forecasters advised fishermen and those with small boats not to venture out over the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon.

About 20 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines each year. In November 2013, typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people and caused damage estimated at more than $13 billion. Bloomberg

Close